Balance shaft gears

In modern engines, balance shaft gears balance out vibrations, improve performance and reduce operating noise.

Image of the balance shaft gears in a Volkswagen

Belt force limiter  

The belt force limiter reduces the force of the belt on vehicle occupants from a certain threshold. It works with the belt tensioner and airbags to reduce the risk of injury to front seat passengers’ upper bodies.
To achieve this, a torsion bar is twisted in the belt retractor. The system now releases the belt at a set level of force. The maximum shoulder belt force is reduced and the occupants are restrained more softly by the belt and airbag. This force limiter also reduces impact on occupants without an additional airbag or belt tensioner (e.g. in the rear of the vehicle).

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Belt tensioner

Belt tensioner  

In an accident, the seat belt must restrain vehicle occupants as soon as possible and must therefore be fastened tightly. This is not always the case, particularly due to bulky clothing. This effect is known as slack.
Modern belt tensioners contain a small pyrotechnic charge that tenses the belt when triggered. This eliminates slack.
The belt tensioners are triggered electrically by the airbag control unit and tighten the belt within split seconds. As this now fits more closely to the body, the vehicle occupants are now involved in vehicle deceleration sooner and the impact on the body is evenly distributed across the entire restraint process, reducing the risk of injury.

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Belt force limiter

Schematic diagram of a Volkswagen with belt tensioner detail

Bend lighting 

Dynamic bend lighting is a bi-xenon pivot system that Volkswagen offers in combination with its static cornering light. This illuminates corners better. With dramatically improved illumination, the system ensures up to 90% more safety and a reduced risk of accidents when taking corners. This makes it possible for drivers to perceive the course of the corner and people, animals or obstacles behind the corner much earlier. In critical situations, this buys the driver valuable reaction time.

From a vehicle speed of 10 km/h, the dynamic bend lighting follows the course of road corners with a maximum pivot angle of 15°. The headlights practically light inside the corner. The xenon module on the inside of the corner pivots up to 15° to the inner side of the corner and the module on the outside of the corner pivots up to 7.5° to the outer side of the corner. These angle limits effectively prevent dazzling of oncoming traffic.

See also:
Cornering light
Bi-xenon headlight
‘Dynamic Light Assist’ main beam control

A Volkswagen seen from above at night, driving around a corner. The bend lighting is shown as a beam of light

BEV / Electric car / Electric vehicle / e-vehicle

These terms are used to describe cars driven by current rather than by fuel. Strictly speaking, these terms are even used as generic terms for battery-powered vehicles as well as for fuel cell vehicles. However, generally speaking, “electric vehicle” is almost always used to describe battery electric vehicles (BEVs), driven solely by current.


‘Biturbo’ refers to two inbuilt turbochargers in the motor. The driver benefits from increased torque at the lower end of the engine speed scale and extra performance at the upper end, as well as improved engine responsiveness.

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Schematic diagram of a Volkswagen engine with a built-in turbocharger

Bivalent drive  

Bivalent natural gas models contain a fully-fledged petrol tank as a well as the natural gas fuel tank. This enables a larger combined range than is permitted in areas with a low density of natural gas filling stations.
At outside temperatures lower than minus 10 degrees and immediately after filling with CNG, a petrol-based start is necessary. After a short time, the vehicle switches to running on gas, once the conditions for smooth natural gas operation are met.

See also:
Quasi-monovalent drive

Schematische Darstellung des bivalenten Antiebs in einem VW Golf
Fuel consumption Golf GTI natural gas (CNG), kg/100 km: urban 4.8
– 4.4 / extra-urban 3.1 – 3.0 / combined 3.6 – 3.5; CO₂ emissions
combined (natural gas (CNG)), g/km: 98 - 95; Fuel consumption (petrol),
l/100 km: urban 7.3 – 6.6 / extra-urban 4.6 / combined 5.6 – 5.3; CO₂
emissions combined (petrol), g/km: 127 - 122; efficiency classes: A, A+

Bi-xenon headlights  

The bi-xenon headlight (‘bi’ = two) is an enhancement of the xenon headlight. Both dipped beam and main beam light can be produced with one headlight. A moving shutter blocks off part of the beam of light for dipped beam lighting. When the headlight flasher or main beam is activated, the shutter is removed from the beam of light and the additional light is released.

Front view of the Volkswagen Touareg at night, bi-xenon headlight detail

Blind Spot Sensor  

Radar sensors in the rear monitor the area behind and beside the car. This makes it possible to detect vehicles within a range of 20 metres, within the system’s limitations.
The ‘Blind Spot’ sensor functions from 15 km/h and can inform the driver of another vehicle or object in the warning area using an indicator LED in the exterior mirror. The system indicates the potential hazard with a constant light in the relevant rear view mirror. If the driver operates the turn signal switch nevertheless, the LED light will start flashing more brightly and draw attention to the hazard.
The ‘Blind Spot’ sensor is offered in combination with the Rear Traffic Alert.

See also:
Rear Traffic Alert
‘Side Assist’ lane change system